We are now moved into our new place in Vancouver, Washington. I am surrounded by boxes, some unpacked, some half unpacked, some practically untouched since they were packed up in a frenzy of clan effort last Thursday. There has been almost no knitting. There has been a lot of thinking about knitting. There are no pictures today, since Bear’s effort to shuffle some things around on the Mac has rendered my camera interface software inoperative. If there was a picture, it would be a swatch of stranded colorwork (often called Fair Isle) which I was playing with last week before we packed up everything and moved. We are coming from a very rural place, a place where people locked up their libraries rather than ante up an additional $10 each month in property taxes. It was beautiful there, but we came to find the people narrow, perhaps from living in the mountain passes, perhaps from economic necessity which pushed all other concerns from their minds. Vancouver is a suburb, full of strip malls and wide highways and bursting with life. It is not beautiful in the same way as those mountain passes covered with fir trees. It is not wild. But I had my fill of the pioneer spirit in that other place, and the mountains there did not leave me less lonely. Today I can take my children on a walk and get a library card. Tonight my husband can drive home half the distance of his old commute. There are knitters here, yarn stores, young families, open faces not so drawn by the effort of making ends meet. I once heard an older person there repeat a phrase from her Depression-era childhood, “Use it up; wear it out; make it do; do without.” There is value in that stark philosophy, but I came to find that there were things I didn’t want to do without. There were things I couldn’t bear to raise my children without. Today we will go the library and bring home books. Next weekend we will go into the city and meet up with family and friends and eat together and talk about good books and organic gardening and dreams for the future. I already miss seeing the mountains from my kitchen window, but I’m beginning to love the green grass, the young maple trees, and the open sky.
Sometime soon I hope to get back to knitting. I’ll be in touch when I do.